Sire De Grugy ran out a convincing winner of the BetVictor Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown for Jamie and Gary Moore.
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The 7/4 joint-favourite banished memories of a slightly below par display at Cheltenham with a game display that saw him land a first Grade One success.
There was a good deal of support close to the off for Captain Conan - Nicky Henderson's sole representative in the absence of the Champion elect, Sprinter Sacre - and for much of the two mile contest it appeared as though the support would be on the money.
Barry Geraghty travelled well in the slipstream of Kauto Stone, who set a fierce gallop in first time blinkers, and Sire De Grugy and Somersby momentarily looked in a spot of bother when making a mistake at the Railway Fences.
The latter was far from fluent at the Pond Fence or in the straight which cost him any chance of closing the gap but Sire De Grugy made ground relentlessly on Captain Conan and jumped to the front at the last.
The Sandown hill has seen many a challenge waver but the seven year old powered on to score by four lengths from Somersby with Captain Conan just over three lengths further back in third.
The winning jockey, brother of top Flat pilot Ryan, said: "I'm delighted for my dad. He just jumped a little bit left at a couple down the back, I don't know why, but that's where the ground is at its quickest and he probably does want a bit of dig in the ground.
"For me personally it is my best achievement, there was a bit of pressure as we love him to pieces."
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Moore senior said: "It means the world, it's what you get up for, and it just goes to show it doesn't matter what you pay for them as this was a cheap horse. A lot of top people passed him over but a lot of credit must go to Jamie, as he went and saw him and said 'you've got to buy this horse as soon as you can.
"I'm going to have to take Sprinter Sacre on at some point and I'd rather it was at Kempton (Desert Orchid Chase, December 27). If I want to swerve him I can go to Leopardstown.
"He won't necessarily go to Cheltenham as I think he needs a more conventional track. For some people it's the be all and end all, but not for me. I'd like to take him to France at some stage."
Sky Bet slashed the winner's price in half to just 8/1 for the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The firm's spokesman, Michael Shinners, said: "Sire De Grugy looks the nearest thing to a challenger to Sprinter Sacre and was extremely impressive in beating the useful Somersby and Captain Conan."